In reflecting on the reasonability of the actions of a set of people, or an individual person, it is not wise to look at exclusively the events. To get a better understanding of why one acts the way they do, it is necessary to know how the events were portrayed to this set of people or individual person, and sympathize with the manipulation they may have been subject to from demagoguery or other means of deception. It's important to approach the happenings of World War II and the world following with such a perspective. Kovaly's story provides this perspective. A story told through an individual can offer a lot more power than one from an omniscient narrator as Joseph Stalin said “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is just a statistic.” Kovaly's personal experience with being turned down a place to hide in Prague is a prime example of a detail whose true horror elludes an omniscient narrator. An additional influence overlooked by more objectively told stories is the personal interests and motivations for adopting communism. In times of great social disparity, it's understandable that the exploited lust for egalitarianism. There can be a personal, practical interest in adopting an ideology; it is not only in a search for enlightenment that one may shift their views on the way societies ought to be structured.
Kovaly's experience highlights the existence of these pressures and force the reader to make their own analysis of the events and actions taken in the years following World War II; without such a story, this too would be overlooked. Kovaly's story is a crucial piece of the body of information one should base their analysis on because it allows the history to be understood from the bottom up (understand the events through the actions of the people) rather than the more typical up bottom approach (explaining the actions of the people as responses to the events). The correct combination of these two yields the best result.
Why does Kovaly so briefly describe her experience in Auschwitz? How should the reader interpret this decision?
To what extent should personal experience play a role in the interpretation of historical events?